She brought me a small white plate.
Two dark pieces nestle on it. I stare at them, then shift the stare to her.
I had been smelling them since I came into the house after my coffee house writing session. Chocolate.
K is on a diet. Today is day 30. She is allowed to add one thing today. She added vegan honey to her breakfast amaranth. Now she waits three days to see if there’s a reaction. If a reaction — pain, a flare, stiffness — is experienced, that item is banned from her diet. Forever. Then she resets for a few days and adds another item. If no reaction is felt, she adds another item and waits three days. So it goes.
This means that she can’t eat what’s on the plate.
She’s hosting book club next month. The moderator opted for something lighter for March. Lessons in Chemistry. Bonnie Garmus. Kay is making vegan brownies studded with chocolate chips. These are vegan chips from Trader Joe’s. Vegan butter was used. This is a test batch. A Ghirardelli mix was used.
“Taste these,” she tells me. “Tell me what you think.”
She can’t have them. Diet. Two of the Ashlandians in the book club are vegan.
I force myself to eat a chewy, gooey vegan brownie.
“Wonderful chocolate taste. Not too sweet. Greasy,” I announce. That makes sense to her. There was something about the vegan butter melting and then measuring it again. She didn’t do that. “And they’re not done enough.”
“Five more minutes?”
“Maybe just three.”
She nods. She’ll make another test batch this week.
They go great with black coffee on a winting Ashlandia afternoon. An entire tray waits for me in the kitchen.
I’ll need to pace myself or it might be death by chocolate.
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